Homer's Travels: November 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I Catch Myself ...

I write a funny post or
post a picture or
retweet an interesting meme.

I wonder if they will laugh or
smile or
leave a witty comment.

But then I catch myself
and remember
they are no longer there.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Photo Move ... Complete

On Saturday I finished moving all my photos from Flickr to Google Photos.  I mentioned three phases in my August 11th post.  As I mentioned, the first phase took six days and the second phase too fifteen days.  Today I finished phase three.  It took me one hundred and six days to relink all the blog posts.

This sounds like a lot but I didn't work on it every day.  The first few weeks I maybe worked three or four times a week but I soon reduced that to only one day a week - usually on the weekend while I was doing laundry.

While it started out a little tedious I soon started looking forward to working on the transfer.  I read through my old posts, remembering through pictures I'd forgotten I'd taken.  I've done a lot and seen a lot since I've started Homer's Travels.  A lot of emotions boiled up at times, both good and bad, happy and sad.  A lot of life.

Now comes the hardest part of all this exercise: deleting my Flickr/Yahoo accounts.  Google Photos is not very social at all and affirmation through Flickr likes and comments will be missed.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Holiday Season Begins

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving yesterday.  I enjoyed a turkey dinner with my Mom and her family.  The Wife enjoyed a turkey dinner with her family.

After I got home, and after I gave my food some time to settle, I put on some Christmas music and put the tree together in our living room.  I will confess that I like Christmas music.  I've even caught myself humming Christmas music in the summer months.  The music always gives me hope.  Of course, by the end of the holiday season, I am usually tired of it all.  Too much of a good thing ...

Our tree is a nearly eight foot (2.4 m) tall and is lit up with multicolored LED lights. My job is to build the tree and string up the lights.  The Wife adds ornaments later.  I personally prefer the simplicity of just lights without ornaments.

There is a downside of having the tree up.  The best place for it is in front of the picture window that looks out over a farm field east of the house.  This window lets a lot of bright sunshine into our living room.  During the holiday season the tree blocks about half of the light.  This can be important since it tends to be so dark during the winter.  We usually don't noticed it too much until we take the tree down and the room lights up.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year.  While it can seem hectic at times the whole spirit of the season is positive and uplifting.  I have not been very positive or uplifted most of this year and I am looking forward to some of this spirit rubbing off on me over the next month or so.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wishing Everyone An ...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

For everyone in the United States who are celebrating with family and friends, I hope you find something to be thankful for in 2017.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Congratulations To Teams Roth And Schuster!

While I'm not a sports fan I have to admit that Omaha has been very good at bringing sporting events to the city.  Omaha has been the home of the College Baseball World Series for decades.  The city has hosted the Olympic Swimming Trials for the past three Olympic cycles and, last week, it hosted the Olympic Team Curling Trials for the first time.

We have been interested in curling since at least the 2010 Winter Olympics.  A year later the Wife and I participated in an ameteur curling competition.  We participated four times over the next few years but we never really got any better at curling and I lost interest in participating in 2015.

In August we attended a few of the Curling Night in America sessions which were fun.  But the main event was the Olympic Curling Trials last week.  We had tickets for seventeen sessions.  After going to three sessions I realized my limit per session was around two hours.  After my third session I decided to skip the next few days.  We ended up using only six of those tickets.  We did spread around the fun by giving some of our unused tickets to friends.  I still like to watch curling, especially now that I understand the game strategy better, but I think me not being a sports fan all my life has limited how much sport I can watch at any one time.  

The best of three finals finished on Saturday with Team Schuster beating Team McCormick (Men's teams) and Team Roth beating Team Sinclair (Women's teams).  The fact that they both needed to go all three games of the best of three finals tells you that the teams were well matched.  The Wife and I didn't even go to the final games but we did watch the Men's team on TV.  (Hey NBCSN!!!  Why didn't you show the Women's final live like you did the Men's?)

Team Roth sweeping in a rock.
Omaha came through with record attendance for an Olympic Curling Trials.  Omaha always seems to deliver the crowds.  Hope this means we can go see some curling again in four years ... at least the amount I can tolerate.

Kids left messages for the curlers.
It will be nice watching the teams compete in next February's Olympic Games.  It always helps when you've seen the competitors in action.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Night With John Cleese

After a relatively slow start to the month, this week has been pretty full for me.  The week was dominated by curling and Monty Python.  I'll post about curling once the Olympic trials are over (the last playoffs are today).  I will post about last night.

Friday the Wife and I went to the newly renovated Orpheum Theater to watch "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".  I'd already seen the movie years ago.  The Wife had never seen it before.  It was as funny and odd as I remembered it.  The Wife ... didn't get it.  British humor is often like that - you either get it or you don't.  Fortunately, the movie was not the highlight of the night.

Following the rather raucous viewing of the movie (lots of vocal fans in the theater) we enjoyed an hour with one of the python's himself: John Cleese.  He was interviewed by a local radio DJ.  Cleese was very funny talking about the movie, his TV shows, and his life on tour (the DJ tried to be funny but just seemed awkward).  We both enjoyed this part of the evening.

If I could have changed anything, I would have skipped the movie entirely and increased the time spent with Cleese to ninety minutes.  I think he would have benefitted from using the same format as Shatner's show.

Note: I read Cleese's autobiography in 2015.  Here is my review.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Photograph: "Late Hunter Moon"

The Hunter Moon was earlier this week but it was obscured by clouds here in Omaha.  Tonight the clouds added a little mystery to the almost full moon.

"Late Hunter Moon"
by Bruce H.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Book: Kapka Kassabova's "Border: A Journey To The Edge Of Europe "

My latest read is about the border between Europe and Asia, the people who cross it voluntarily or not, and how their lives are affected.  Kapka Kassabova's "Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe" looks at the the borders between Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey.

The story of the borderlands and the often forced migrations of Muslim and Christian populations between Europe and Asia (and back) is told through the experiences of people living in villages on both sides of the borders.  The stories, ranging from personal family histories to fables of treasures and the supernatural,  keeps the reader engaged.  We soon learn of the rich history and mythologies linked to the mountains and forests of region.

The region has been shaped by many forces including the Ottoman Empire and the Cold War.  As I read this book I realized my knowledge of the Ottoman Empire was severely lacking.  I will have to fill that gap.

I gave this book four out of five stars on Goodreads as the book held my interest and I learned things I didn't know about the region which is always a plus.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Light That Fire

Early registration for Trek Up The Tower started yesterday.  Last year I registered but, due to unexpected minor surgery, I was unable to participate.  I decided to try again next year and registered.

I hope by registering I will light a fire under my butt.  My bike (trainer) rides and my hiking has been spotty at best.  My exercise motivation has been near nonexistent.

Maybe this minor goal is what I need to get out of my funk.  That and the desire to beat my 8 minute 39 second record.